No way Christina would have gone to Todd if she’d known he would blow her cover. All she’d wanted was a little advice. Now look. Suzie, Miranda, and Vin sat together on a leather couch in Todd’s basement, looking at her expectantly. Only Drew, the FBI agent, joining them could have made it worse.
“So they know you’re CIA,” Todd said. “Get on with it.”
“Did you tell them you were too?” She shouldn’t have snapped at him, but couldn’t quite resist.
“They already know.” His green eyes snapped a warning, though what of she had no idea. In a handsome man, the expression would have been compelling. Todd’s receding chin and thinning hair merely made him look spiteful, though she knew he wasn’t. He gestured toward the couch. “Vin went through Quantico the same time I did.”
“You’re CIA?” She didn’t even attempt to keep the disbelief from her voice.
Vin shook his head.
Another shake. He gave Miranda’s had a squeeze and she darted a quick smile his way. “I’m a private investigator.”
“Are you, or are you not investigating Sean and Joseph O’Connor?”
“Not… officially.” His eyes darted to the side, toward Suzie, who gave his hand a reassuring pat.
“But your roommate, Drew, is.” Christina said it with enough hesitation to let them know it was as much question as statement.
Todd groaned. “I told you. There is a time and a place for working with other agencies. In this case, you shouldn’t try to go it alone.”
“It’s my case, and I’ll work it my way.”
Todd shrugged, looked away unhappily.
“O’Connor. You knew their name all along and didn’t tell us.” Suzie’s eyes sparked fire.
Christina was taken aback by the strength of her reaction. The woman looked like she might launch herself across the room to strangle Christina right where she stood.
“Do you have any idea what we’ve been through?” Suzie’s eyes went from narrow to stunned-wide. “Yes, you do! We told you all about it when you came to visit the day I had to send my son away. You could have kept that from happening!” Suzie stood up, but before she could take a step, Vin pulled her down.
“No she couldn’t. Let me guess, you kept us in the dark because you want to make the collar yourself.” Vin’s eyes pierced her.
Christina looked away. When he said it like that, she felt small and cheep.
Vin turned his full attention on Suzie, though he continued to hold Miranda’s hand. “If she knew where they were, she’d probably already have them under arrest. Or would you?” He returned his attention to her. “Do you have enough to do anything? I know you can’t convict…”
“No.” Christina looked away. “It doesn’t work like that.”
“Do you know where they are?” He leaned forward. Next he’d be out for her blood. In fact, the only one in the room who looked remotely sympathetic was Miranda, who seemed more interested in Vin than in the conversation.
“No! No, I don’t know where they are. Even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.”
“Christina,” Todd said it as a warning.
“Todd,” Christina warned right back.
Smoke. It was all going up in smoke. Now they’d… actually, what could they do to her? She was only doing her job. But they’d be getting in the way.
“Vin, did you say you are NOT working with the FBI agent?”
“Not anymore. Drew’s afraid I’ll get shot again, and released me from the contract. Now I’m after them on my own.”
“Shot. Again? When?” Todd moved closer to Vin, bumping both Suzie and Miranda off the couch.
While the men talked quietly, something inside Christina ticked over. None of these people were with the FBI. None of them were in law enforcement at all. They knew about her and her case. They’d be after the O’Connor’s anyway. Why not join forces?
She gave Miranda a smile. “Can you people keep a secret?”
Miranda nodded quickly, her expression curious. Suzie nodded more thoughtfully, looking wary.
“Good, because I have a bunch of them.” As soon as she said it, she realized why she had really gone to Todd, and why it hurt so much to have him disrespect her cover. Until now, she hadn’t just been going it alone. She’d been lonely.